They were introduced last night at Fenway Park as the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals winners of 97 games.

And then Game 1 of the World Series began and suddenly they looked like the 1939 St. Louis Browns losers of 111 games.

We told you this World Series would be special. What nobody could have counted on was the possibility that the Cardinals their play as crisp and clean as their classic home whites all season would perform with such ineptitude that Sox fans were cackling with anticipation on every routine grounder and pop-up assuming the Cards would somehow gum it up.

When it was over the Red Sox had rolled to a festive 8-1 victory over the Cardinals. Game 2 of the Series is tonight at Fenway and the Cards can’t possibly be this bad for a second straight day . . . right?

“No” Red Sox catcher David Ross said. “They’re not a team that’s going to beat themselves. They did tonight and we’d like to thank our fans for that maybe a little bit. They were nice and loud. But we’re gonna have to come out here again . . . we were real fortunate to take advantage of some of their mistakes.”

This game was right out of the land of Bizzaro so much so that a blown call by second-base umpire Dana DeMuth had the potential to be one of the biggest gaffes in World Series history . . . and would have been had not the umps simply huddled together and changed the call. Naturally the right call was bad news for the Cardinals.

It involved a first-inning play in which David Ortiz hit a bouncer to second meant to be an easy double play but Matt Carpenter’s feed to force Dustin Pedroia tipped off the glove of shortstop Peter Kozma.

DeMuth however inexplicably called Pedroia out. It was a horrifying everyone-knows-the-ump-blew-it kind of call and Twitter must have been rife with indignation after millions of baseball fans had seen umpteen replays on their flat screens.

In the old days the call would have stood. For one ump to correct another umpire especially on the game’s grand stage would have been “showing him up.” But the umps did the right thing: They changed a terrible call into the correct call.

And that was it for the Cardinals. Mike Napoli rifled an Adam Wainwright pitch to left-center and three runs came across as Cards center fielder Shane Robinson was fumbling around with the ball.

“It’s a pretty tough time to debut that kind of call in the World Series” Cards manager Mike Matheny said. “Now I get that they’re trying to get the right call. I get that. Tough one to swallow.”

Take away that play and maybe the inning ends 0-0 and who knows what’s going to happen? But three runs came across and the Red Sox scored two more in the second inning thanks to this laughably awkward play: Stephen Drew hit a high pop between the mound and the plate which inspired Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina to engage in a staring contest as the ball fell between them for a box-of-chocolates single. Ross singled to center with one out and then Shane Victorino reached on an error by Kozma. Pedroia singled to left plating Drew.